The art of mixing business and leisure - the rise of 'Bleisure' travel
What is Bleisure travel?
It’s part work, part holiday; a business trip with a side of relaxation – yep, it’s ‘Bleisure’ (business and leisure, to be precise). Post-pandemic, the rise of mixing business with leisure has encouraged many to take remote working to the next level, incorporating travel in more ways than one. It’s become much easier to take your work on holiday with you – whether it be an overseas escapade or a local camping trip. If this concept tickles your fancy, we’ve delved into all the ways you could take advantage of ‘bleisure’ travel – and made note of some considerations to be aware of should you choose to partake in a bit of travel indulgence, with business on the side.
The luxe hotel and resort traveller
So you’ve got a conference to attend? In a hotel to die for? Or maybe a company retreat at that resort that has a plethora of activities and a spa that’s calling your name. But there’s no way you’re going to have time for all that while on the business trip. This is the perfect situation for adding an extra day either side of your trip. If you’re travelling there by requirement anyway, it’s only logical to couple that with a holiday – it’s economical, and you probably deserve a break after the conference anyway!
If you’re lucky enough to have had your company pay for flights – you’ve then got more to spend on food, drink an entertainment – what a score.
A pro tip is to find a hotel that has an ideal dedicated workspace to boost your productivity during your working hours (and it gives you a professional space to take any work meetings!)
The family- friendly traveller
Have kids in tow? You can still take advantage of bleisure travel! As the concept has been on the rise, function centres and hotels are starting to offer family-friendly options to working parents. Think arts and crafts, pool games and sports to encourage bringing the family to your next business trip.
Being able to take your kids and significant other with you on a work trip or event means you’re getting to spend more time with them outside work commitments – and you’re in a new and exciting place, all together!
If you have the option to do your everyday work remotely – there are a range of family friendly destinations to keep in mind if you’re planning to cycle through some conference calls while on a beach – think the Gold Coast, the Coromandel or even further afield like Hawaii or Spain. Between kids' clubs, a partner or parent helping with childcare and even bringing a babysitter along with you, there are options to balance your next family holiday with a bit of work sprinkled in.
The outdoorsy traveller
You’d think being outdoors, in a remote area wouldn’t bode well for trying to work offline BUT – we have some tips if you’re the type to spend your annual leave in the middle of nowhere on a multi-day hike. Imagine starting your day with a brisk morning hike, taking in the natural beauty of whatever off-the-beaten-track location you’ve decided to visit this time, before delving into a productive work session. For a midday break, maybe it’s a trail run, mountain bike or kayak? Then onto your afternoon meetings. For the evening, perhaps a lake swim and some stargazing?
Whether it’s a national park, weekend camping getaway after a week of conference, it’s easy to balance your love of the outdoors with your work. Just ensure you’re in a position to connect to the internet and your work servers – that’s pretty crucial in the world of ‘Bleisure’!
The social traveller
Maybe it’s a festival, or visiting those friends you made in London circa 2017. You’ve got catching up to do, and not enough time to do it. Or there’s just no way you’re missing THAT headliner at your favourite festival. Hear us out, festivals and work don’t mix - but, if timings are tight trying to get there, you can take advantage of remote working to allow you more time. It takes the stress off you rushing around to get back into the office post-festival and having to book expensive prime-time transportation. Take it more leisurely, and work remotely, making your way back to the office when everything’s calmed down a bit. Or, save your annual leave for Christmas time – take a trip to see a friend, work remotely during the day and save your catch-ups for the evenings or weekends. You’re spending time together as if you were living and working in the same city - even if you aren’t anymore.
Things to know about Bleisure travel
- Always check with your workplace. Perhaps the most obvious consideration is to run any of your ‘bleisure’ plans past your employer, well before locking anything in. Every workplace is different and will have different expectations and levels of comfort with adding a leisure trip to a work-related event.
- Balance is key. The key is to balance your time wisely – and even though you’re blurring the lines between business and leisure, it’s important to create a clear schedule that allows you to fulfil your work commitments while also enjoying leisure activities without overexerting yourself. Set clear boundaries with your team to ensure business time is business, and leisure time is leisure.
- Consider any tax implications. Depending on your location, how long you're away and the nature of your trip, there could be tax implications related to combining work and leisure. Consult with a tax professional or your workplace to understand any potential tax-related consequences.
- Will you be able to connect? Ensure that the destination you're traveling to has reliable internet connectivity, especially if you'll need to work remotely. Check for available Wi-Fi and cellular coverage to ensure you can stay connected when needed.
- Remember insurance. Review your travel insurance coverage to make sure it includes both your business-related activities and leisure travel. Consider purchasing additional coverage if necessary to protect yourself in case of any unforeseen events.
- Have a back-up plan. Things may not go off without a hitch, so remember to have a back up plan in case your work commitments change while you’re on a trip.
Remember, succeeding in ‘Bleisure’ travel hinges on effective planning, communication and finding the right balance between your work commitments and leisure pursuits. Make the most of your blended travel experience by minimising potential challenges. Happy travels!
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